Since signing on for Sunderland in the summer, Pritchard has been a vital player for the Black Cats, making 32 appearances in League One so far.


Pritchard endured an ankle injury in the game against Charlton Athletic last weekend and subsequently missed the midweek match against Fleetwood Town.



Neil stated that Pritchard is making good progress in his recovery and his injury is not as bad as initially feared.


The Black Cats boss reassured the fans that while at first the estimate was he would be out for six to eight weeks, it is now clear that he will be fit in less time.



“He’s making good progress and I don’t think it will be as bad as first feared”, Neil said in a press conference when asked about Pritchard.


“We thought it could be a six to eight week injury but we don’t think it’s in that ballpark.”



Being out for six or eight weeks would have meant Pritchard could have missed the rest of the season, at least if the Black Cats did not reach the playoffs, but now the midfielder will be hoping he is able to play a further part this season for his team.